On 27/8, when the Lok Sabha discussed and debated the three Lokpal- related issues that were referred to it by the government, unable as it was to resist any longer the immense public pressure galvanised by Anna Hazare, many political and social commentators described it a historic day in the nation's history. Not all MPs agreed with that assessment, it seems ----why else would they have absented themselves from the Lok Sabha on that historic day ?
Here is the Lok Sabha's Attendance Record for 27/8 -----NS signifies "Not Signed" and "S" signifies signed . Please note that Ministers are not required to sign the Attendance Record so some of them were present that day but NS appears against their name.Its not possible to say, however, that all the Minsters against whose name NS appears were indeed present. There are even some Ministers like Pranit Patil who have signed the Attendance Record. We should ask the Parliament the rationale for exempting Ministers from the requirement of signing the Attendance Record, shouldn't we?
Its a long list, but do scroll down ---- on 27/8, as many as 160 MPs had not signed the Attendance Record. Even if one excludes the Ministers, giving them the benefit of doubt, the number of absentees is mind boggling. Shashi Tharoor, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Sanjay Singh,Mausam Noor, Supriya Sule, Shibu Soren, Babulal Marandi ----the list of absentees cuts across party lines!